Managing a thriving homeschool lifestyle requires clearly defined roles. The majority of homeschool families I am acquainted with consist of Dad working as the primary income provider and Mom homeschooling the kids. While a lot of moms have some type of part-time job, their main focus is educating the kids. So, the question that arises is: What role should the husband play in homeschooling?
Coming together as a couple to plan out the homeschool year sounds great, but too many cooks in the kitchen can cause conflict. What we have found to work for our family is leaving the ultimate decision to whoever is the teacher. We talk over what curriculum to use, what programs to put our kids in, and what our budget is for the year. I like my husband’s input, yet when it comes down to the details of our homeschooling, I am the teacher and I need to be able to decide what will work for me first and then the kids.
Lighten the Teaching Load
The biggest tip I have for deciding who should teach what? Play to your strengths. If your husband really wants to teach then pick an area where you need to lighten your own load. But be careful! If Dad is working all day and still has to fit Math into the evening when the kids are tired this might end up being more frustrating than it’s worth. Is there another way for your husband to help lighten your load? Could he teach the kids on a Saturday or just one night a week instead of every day? (for more ideas on how to have Dad engage with the kids’ in their homeschooling check out: https://globalstudentnetwork.com/dads-and-homeschooling/
A busy homeschool mom’s best friend is not paperwork. The record-keeping needs to get done but you can’t expect your husband to grade the kids’ work when he hasn’t been doing the majority of the teaching. Find a basic way to keep track of your kids’ work and then fill out the records you need to for your state’s requirements. Maybe your husband can help you by sending in the forms to your school district. Get used to the idea that as much as you dislike that paperwork it’s the teacher’s job to sort it out. (for info on homeschool requirements in your state check out: https://www.homeschoolfacts.com/state-laws.html
Free to Lead
Whoever is the lead teacher in your homeschooling needs to be free to lead. This may be hard for a husband to grasp. Yes, you want to work as a team. However, when it comes down to the job of teaching, sharing every single aspect is going to end up causing frustration and wasting time. If your husband doesn’t want to be involved much, that’s totally fine. Find support from other sources such as a co-op or a group for moms. Need to find a group? Here is a list: https://www.homeschoolfacts.com/homeschool-support-groups.html
Homeschooling long term is a lifestyle for your family. We aren’t just educating our kids. We are at home as a family. Make time to figure out what unique roles will work well for both husband and wife so your homeschooling will thrive.